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- Apathetic Retiree
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Curiosity Surveys a Mystery Under Dusty Skies
| MSL Curiosity
| 2018 Sep 06
After snagging a new rock sample
on Aug. 9, NASA's Curiosity rover surveyed its surroundings on Mars, producing a 360-degree panorama of its current location on Vera Rubin Ridge.
The panorama includes umber skies, darkened by a fading global dust storm. It also includes a rare view by the Mast Camera of the rover itself, revealing a thin layer of dust on Curiosity's deck. In the foreground is the rover's most recent drill target, named "Stoer" after a town in Scotland near where important discoveries about early life on Earth were made in lakebed sediments.
The new drill sample delighted Curiosity's science team, because the rover's last two drill attempts were thwarted by unexpectedly hard rocks. Curiosity started using a new drill method
earlier this year to work around a mechanical problem. Testing has shown it to be as effective at drilling rocks as the old method, suggesting the hard rocks would have posed a problem no matter which method was used. ...
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